Skip to content

Water the top concern at public hearing for proposed North Okanagan subdivision

The proposed development on McLennan Road would comprise 16 lots on 30 hectares of land
A public hearing for a development proposing to build 16 lots on McLennan Road took place at the Regional District of North Okanagan building Thursday, March 9, 2023. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

Residents concerned about their water supply had their voices heard at a public hearing put on by the Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) regarding a proposed 16-lot subdivision Thursday, March 9.

The proposed site is comprised of three properties at 7505, 7601 and 7605 McLennan Road, in RDNO Electoral Area C. The properties form an area of just over 30 hectares.

The Nodding Hill residential development proposes a phased development approach in which subdivision will commence with an initial phase of 10 lots at the northern end of the property while groundwater levels in multiple wells on site will be monitored.

The developer is looking to change the land use designation of the properties from country residential to small holdings.

Seven residents responded to the public hearing by written submission, including nearby residents Peter and Terry Leggat, who said they are “strongly opposed” to the development.

“The Official Community Plan states very clearly that any development approved for small holdings must have a community water system, not wells,” they wrote, adding that “the good of the community should rule over the good of an individual developer.”

Andrew and Carolynn Sizer wrote that they’re concerned about trespassing if the development were to go ahead, and asked the RDNO to insist that the developer provide a chain link fence on the east side of the development. Like others, they also mentioned the potential increased risk for wildfires in the area if the development moves forward.

“We do not have any fire hydrants nearby on Keddleston, nor do you have on McLennan. The fire service therefore have limited resources to contain any outbreak,” the Sizers wrote.

Gaetan Effray and Teri Wynn, who live on McLennan Road, wrote that they do not want to see 16 wells built given “the history of scarcity of water in this area.”

Rick and Nick Gosselin wrote that they also have concerns regarding water if the development were to go ahead.

“Who is responsible if the wells dry up in our immediate area due to excessive pressure on ground water,” they wrote.

The Gosselins added they also have concerns about traffic problems on McLennan Road that would be exacerbated by the development.

“McLennan Road is becoming unsafe with the additional volume of traffic and needs to be repaired/upgraded.”

Carl and Gail Peter, who live next to the proposed development, wrote that they will not oppose the development as long as wire fencing and no trespassing signage is installed along their borders.

A handful of people spoke at the public hearing, including the developer, Josh Galloway of Nodding Hill Developments.

Many of the residents who spoke echoed concerns about water supply in the area.

“This development shouldn’t go ahead without some form of water supply,” one nearby resident said. “I feel like I’m taking all the risk with my water so that this development can go ahead. That shouldn’t be placed on me.”

Another resident said they are not opposed to the development but would like to “maintain the rural characteristics of our neighbourhood.”

Thursday was the second public hearing for this development after one was held in August 2019.

The developer’s initial application proposed to rezone four properties and to subdivide them into 44 lots. That proposal was for a development area of just over 55 hectares. However, the application was amended, reducing the size to 30.74 hectares and dropping the number of lots from 44 to 16. The amended peroposal also revised the water servicing strategy from community water service to individual water wells.

The results of the public hearing will be put into a report that will be presented to the RDNO board of directors at its next meeting Wednesday, March 22.

READ MORE: Grant supports section of Shuswap North Okanagan Rail Trail near Armstrong

READ MORE: B.C. floats $100M to protect provincial watersheds

Brendan Shykora
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
Read more